11 November 2008


There comes a point in a busy girl's life when she has to face facts (even if she won't look at her bank balance) and admit that $144 is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a storage unit that holds a few bits of unneeded furniture and a bunch of boxes full of stuff. That stuff is really receipts and whatnot for a you-know-what; some old scripts (that could come in handy one day because the one I'm shopping around right now ain't no spring chicken); a few bits of memorabilia from my Hollywood past; and some truly miscellaneous crap. You know, the typical. Somehow, I remembered it being only a "few" boxes. Try thirteen.

When I looked at the extent of my storage, I started thinking about what I could cut out of my already lean budget in order to afford that $144...or what third job I could procure to keep it. I firmly believe that my time as well as my happiness/comfort is worth a fair amount. As I stared at what I stowed away, I decided it made sense to chalk that $144 up to my peace of mind at not having to further impose on my already crowded duplex. But, when I started to slide the door on my unit shut, I heard the voice of my good friend/CPA saying, "What the hell are you doing throwing that money away? Put your boxes in document storage. It's cheaper." With our level of intimacy (when I say she knows everything about me, that includes my net worth), I can't get away with any sort of shenanigans. Since I am having dinner with her on Thursday, I thought it might be nice to look her in the eye. So, I loaded up my car, twice, and carried the boxes into my home.

I suppose wearing white wasn't the brightest move. I did second guess my t-shirt and hoodie when I walked out the door, but, I figured, I'm a grown-up. I can manage a laborious task and not end up all grimy. It's all about how you carry yourself. Well, just who does carry themselves well shuffling old boxes about? Clearly, not I.

I stacked the boxes in a tower in my living room. That was about the only fun part. I stood back and stared at the wall of Stor-All and sighed. This is the price of being an independent contractor/writer -- a whole lot of "back up". The question is: Can I fit it all back in here, or do I have to take the time to organize the contents of the white cardboard cubes in a way that really organized people will understand and can assign barcodes to?

By the way, can I just mention how this so does not fit into the "minimize my life" scheme?

Stumbling through the boxes of my past, I did uncover a few things that made me smile. The invitation to the housewarming party with my then co-habitating boyfriend. Names I hadn't thought of in years. Cancelled checks from nearly twenty years ago, leading a trail to where I had been (and how much I'd spent). Remembering that dinner, that dress or that day. And, as I shredded them all, I felt both closer and more distant to my past. That girl I was. So hopeful and sure of how things would be. There's still some of her left in me. I look at those boxes, which seem to stare back at me, and I wonder what else I might find. What I will toss away. Or what I will cram into a corner until it's time to do inventory again.

Next time, I shan't wear white.

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